Sunday, 12 January 2014

Felting Fun!

On Friday my eagerly anticipated needle felting kit arrived from Heidi Feathers!

I recently got inspired to have a go at needle felting after seeing some super cute hand-felted creatures on Pinterest, so I ordered a beginners kit and had my first go with it today. It was so much fun!

Obviously I decided my first 'feltie' would be a pig and he turned out looking great (for a first try at least)!

Here's a bit of a tutorial/ step-by-step process on how I made my first needle felted creation:


The beginners kit I bought consisted of: 20 balls of coloured wool, 10 felting needles (different sizes), foam pad (to stab needle into), wooden handle to hold the needle and instructions on how to make 3 different feltie things: penguin, bookmark and pin cushion.


I had 20 different colours to choose from, but for my pig chose pinky colours with black for the eyes and white for highlights: 



I rolled a strip of the wool into a sausage shape and stabbed all around to felt it together with one of the larger needles. 
Once the wool is felted and the fibres are bonded together, it's pretty irreversible (hard to tear apart/start again) so it was easier to start with a small sausage shape then add to it as I went along.


I stabbed one end of the sausage shape diagonally all the way round to flatten the bottom. This meant my sculpture would stand flat and not fall over. I kept stabbing all the way round the shape to compress the wool and make it feel less hollow and more structurally solid.

After wrapping a bit of extra wool round the bottom to make it wider, my pigs body looked like this so far:


For the ears I rolled a bit of wool in my fingers to make mini sausage shapes which I flattened by stabbing each side. To make them curve I just felted the middle a bit more giving them a bit of a floppy look when attached to the body. 

Leaving a bit of un-felted (fluffy) wool at one end of the ear made it a lot easier to blend into the head:


After the ears were attached I rolled a little ball for the snout (shown to the right in the picture below).

To attach the snout I left one end of the ball fluffy and then felted that end into the head. Stabbing round the edge of the ball and then around the centre compressed it into more of a tube/snout shape.


Now for the details!
In the future I'd like to try using beads for eyes, but rolling up tiny balls of black wool worked just as well. I used the finest needle to carefully stab in the eyes and dark spots for nostrils.

For a little extra touch I mixed some red and pink wool to create a darker pink, perfect for lining the ears, darkening the snout and adding little blushy cheek spots!

The perfect finishing touch! 

To make the tail I repeated the technique I used to make the ears, only this time using a longer sausage of wool and felting it in a curl shape. Again I left a fluffy end to the tail to seamlessly blend it into the body with a fine needle.


A cute little felted piggy!

 Meet my first felt creation and new desk buddy :D
Any name suggestions?

This was so fun and easy to do and I would really recommend anyone interested to have a go!
I'd love to make a whole manager of animals next, so no doubt will be blogging about more felted things soon..

Hope any fellow budding felters out there find this (my first tutorial!) helpful. Feel free to send me links to your own felted creations, I'd love to see!

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